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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a new house in northern Michigan and after talking with the neighbor it turns out that there is a black bear family that lives in the area. I have little kids and I am wondering if I should be carrying a gun in case of emergency while they are outside playing. I currently carry a few different 9mm and wondering if I should upgrade. I do not want a huge gun to carrying around while playing with the kids, also don't really want a revolver. So I was thinking maybe a .45. Looking at the Glocks and Springfields, they have fairly compact .45s that hold around 13 rounds. I know that a .45 probably isn't the best round for a black bear, but with 13 rounds I'm thinking that might be enough. Anyone have any thoughts, ever deal with this type of situation. Thanks for any thoughts.
 

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Black bears aren't usually much of a threat, you can usually scare them off pretty easily and there are bear repellents and non lethal products out there you may want to look into. Not an expert on this but if you absolutely had to shoot one I would think you would be better off with .45 or 10mm.
 
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I agree with LuketheDrifter...they usually can be scared off, but if/when they choose to get chippy I would use repellent first with a 10mm as a backup. That's my "loadout" when hiking in Colorado...
 

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I would not put out bird feeders or dump food scrapes around my house...that will take care of the bears coming near the house.
 
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I have the following input on defensive firearms for use in black bear country.

#1. Any gun is better than no gun....and a 9mm discharged straight up in the air will solve 90% of your "curious bear" problems. I spent two full years working in the bush in country where I shared space with black bears, Grizzly bears, and Moose. Since I want not legally allowed to have a firearm, I carried bear bangers. For the two times that I needed them, they did the job. I will admit to using a few more of them on co-workers than I used on animals. :danceban:

#2. Please understand that no pistol or revolver will ever be the equal of a long gun when dealing with an aggressive or predatory bear. That said, I also understand that long guns are a pain in the hind end to cart around, so a sidearm is what you're likely to have with you.

#3. If you're going to buy a sidearm that is suitable for use against a black bear, buy enough gun to do the job. In my mind that is a .357 Magnum, 10mm, .41 Magnum, or .44 Magnum. Anything bigger than a .44 Magnum and you're going to be packing a boat anchor on your hip....and one that is chambered in five dollar bills to boot. Since you are already looking at polymer pistols, there ain't no flies on the Glock 20. It can handle full-house 10mm loads - which means 220 grain hard cast lead solids moving at 1250FPS.

#4. BUY GOOD AMMO. No matter what you buy, BUY GOOD AMMO. That means the heaviest, hottest loaded lead solids that you can find. Penetration is what you need when shooting a largish animal....and lead solids are the best way to reliably get that.

#5. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Bear-proof your property....and bear-proof your kids.
 

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If bears are a worry then a glock 29 with hard cast buffole bore would be the best

But bears blacks are not that commen to be a massive threat unless you had it commen try bear spray or just making sure you dont leave food around

Firing a gun and more still killing a bear in a urban setting can be a lot of hassles to deal with unls you can 100% you needed to
 

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Id skip the .45 and go for a 10mm.
 

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As you stated " you share" the area with a family of bears.
So to be a good neighbor, avoid becoming a food source by proper disposal of garbage.
Don't leave food out and have a big can of bear repellent.
And while I agree you should carry your firearm, a strategic retreat indoors will solve most interactions.
Avoid making any orphans, bear or human.
Enjoy Upper Michigan, it's a beautiful place.
 

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Bear country? Forget the autos and break out the .44 Special and above revolvers! Spray first though...I hate to see one of Gods creatures
wasted for nothing other than curiosity on their part. :smile:
 

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Really black bear are not bad at all Now if they have cubs is other thing..

This youtuber now far from my hunting cabin in PA. Most PA people see a bear everyday

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree that I would never want to shoot first or try to start anything with a bear. However there are cubs around and my kids are pretty little. I am thinking more of a last resort, trying to stop anything from getting worse type of situation. Is there that much of a difference between a .45 and a 10mm? I have a Sprinfield XDs 9mm that I like and shoot pretty well, that's kind of why I was thinking maybe a XD Mod 2 .45.
 

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I agree that I would never want to shoot first or try to start anything with a bear. However there are cubs around and my kids are pretty little. I am thinking more of a last resort, trying to stop anything from getting worse type of situation. Is there that much of a difference between a .45 and a 10mm? I have a Sprinfield XDs 9mm that I like and shoot pretty well, that's kind of why I was thinking maybe a XD Mod 2 .45.

45acp would work well. And I understand kids first another thing that would keep them away a dog, Just something to think about
 

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I agree that I would never want to shoot first or try to start anything with a bear. However there are cubs around and my kids are pretty little. I am thinking more of a last resort, trying to stop anything from getting worse type of situation. Is there that much of a difference between a .45 and a 10mm? I have a Sprinfield XDs 9mm that I like and shoot pretty well, that's kind of why I was thinking maybe a XD Mod 2 .45.
Proper 10mm is hard hitting stuff

for example Buffol bores 45 out door load 45 ACP +P OUTDOORSMAN
255 gr. Hard Cast FN (925 fps/M.E. 484 ft. lbs.)

verus 10mm outdoor load
HEAVY 10MM OUTDOORSMAN - 220 gr. Hard Cast - FN
(1200 fps/ME 703 ft. lbs.)
 

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Tough to beat a good 1911 or Glock 21 for 45ACP.
How about a Glock 20 or a Colt Delta Elite? Nothing wrong with the 21 or a good 1911....but it simply doesn't bring as much to the table for four-legged critter as a 10mm. I would say that .357 or 10mm is the lowest level of power that I would suggest if buying a handgun for potential use in defense from a bear. Please understand that I say this not because I am "too cool" for the 45 ACP (I love the cartridge and carry a 1911 a fair amount) - but because a bear can be a tougher target than a human, and if you are forced into a defensive shoot against a bear, you may end up needing to take less than ideal shots. The extra penetration of a magnum level cartridge may be the difference between being mauled and getting the bullet through to a vitals or CNS hit on a bear that is coming for you.

Id skip the .45 and go for a 10mm.
Agreed.

As you stated " you share" the area with a family of bears.
So to be a good neighbor, avoid becoming a food source by proper disposal of garbage.
Don't leave food out and have a big can of bear repellent.
And while I agree you should carry your firearm, a strategic retreat indoors will solve most interactions.
Avoid making any orphans, bear or human.
Enjoy Upper Michigan, it's a beautiful place.
Yup. Understand bear behavior, understand what odors you are creating around your place, avoid making your place a convenient diner for bears....and above all....be aware of and beware cubs.

Seriously.

If you see cubs, don't bother waiting for momma to show. Grab your kids, get indoors NOW. A mother bear who believes that you pose any sort of threat to her cubs will immediately go into full-on Tazmanian devil mode. If she is defending her cubs, she won't stop mauling you until three and a half minutes after she's dead. I have seen sows attempt to attack a helicopter....that was in the air....when their cubs were around.

Proper 10mm is hard hitting stuff

for example Buffol bores 45 out door load 45 ACP +P OUTDOORSMAN
255 gr. Hard Cast FN (925 fps/M.E. 484 ft. lbs.)

verus 10mm outdoor load
HEAVY 10MM OUTDOORSMAN - 220 gr. Hard Cast - FN
(1200 fps/ME 703 ft. lbs.)
Absoutely. Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, and Underwood all make good stuff.
 

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I saw a 400 to 450lb black bear strolling thru my yard a couple of weeks ago ... A 45 acp with a 230gr XTP or a 200gr HCSWC popped in boiler X3 would be a great bear spray ...

A semi auto 45acp ,10mm and even a 40 S&W with 180 gr FNFMJ .. with multiple hits would work for black bear replant..

Black bears grow big here and have little to no fear of man ..
 

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I saw a 400 to 450lb black bear strolling thru my yard a couple of weeks ago ... A 45 acp with a 230gr XTP or a 200gr HCSWC popped in boiler X3 would be a great bear spray ...

A semi auto 45acp ,10mm and even a 40 S&W with 180 gr FNFMJ .. with multiple hits would work for black bear replant..

Black bears grow big here and have little to no fear of man ..
How you gonna put those rounds in the boiler room when that bear is nose-on to you, travelling at 35 MPH?

Short answer: You ain't. You need a projectile with enough energy to break bone when you shoot it in the shoulder. That's why you need a VERY tough projectile with lots of energy. Since I've spent a lot of time in Griz country, my gold standard for bear medicine is a HOT .45-70 pushing a 540 grain gas checked lead solid at over 1500 FPS. Since I know that is impractical for the OP (and overkill for a black bear that weight 20% of what a big griz does) I'm suggesting that tough bullets, moving fast, with good sectional density are what is required.

.45 ACP falls short on both velocity and sectional density. .40 S&W falls short on velocity. HCSWC orthe XTP might be a tough enough bullet....but since you can buy purpose-made (220 grain hard-cast LFN) loads for woods use, why would you play around with half-measures?
 

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The "handiest" bear defense handgun in my experience is the S&W Model 69:



Five shots of .44 Magnum in a 4-1/4" barreled 37 ounce package. It's my sidearm of choice in bear country.
 
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I live in the mountains of North Carolina. We have a few black bears that roam around. They are something to be aware of but not to panic about. Their first instinct is to go the other way when they meet up with humans. I would say a .45 should do the trick, but that should be the last resort. This bear was about 50 feet from my house, caught him on my trail cam.

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I just recently picked up an Springfield XDM 3.8 .45. It Shoots great and is actually very easy to carry. 9+1 or 13+1. I have a Pierce extension
on one of my mags that adds a round so I carry 10+1.
for a 10mm the glock 29SF is easy to carry and 10mm should get the job done.
 
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